Sister Dennis Virtual Visiting Artist Series begins March 15

Academics Fine Arts

March 11, 2021

The Sister Dennis Virtual Visiting Artist Speaker Series begins Monday, March 15 with a webinar featuring an Arab-American curator and art historian.

Maymanah Farhat will talk about curatorial practice in relation to diversity, equity and inclusion during a 7 p.m. webinar. You can join the webinar here.

The three-part series, created by the CSB/SJU Art Department, is highlighting Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) artists and curators, and is named for Sr. Dennis Frandrup, OSB, professor emerita of art and artist-in-residence at CSB.

Farhat recently co-curated “History is Not Here: Art and the Arab Imaginary” organized by Mizna at the Minnesota Museum of American Art. Her art historical research and curatorial work focus on underrepresented artists and forgotten art scenes.

Since 2005, she has written widely on 20th and 21st century art, contributing essays and chapters to edited volumes, artist monographs and museum and gallery catalogues.

Farhat has curated exhibitions throughout the U.S. and abroad, notably at the San Francisco Center for the Book, the Center for Book Arts in Manhattan, Minnesota Museum of American Art, Arab American National Museum, Virginia Commonwealth University Gallery in Doha, Qatar, Art Dubai, and Beirut Exhibition Center.

She has been included among Foreign Policy’s annual list of 100 Leading Global Thinkers in 2014 in recognition of her scholarship on Syrian art after the uprising, and honored by the Arab America Foundation in 2020 as one of 40 Arab Americans under the age of 40 who have made significant contributions to the Arab American community.

Farhat holds a bachelor’s degree in the History of Art and Visual Culture from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a master’s in Museum Administration from St. John’s University, New York.

The series continues at 7 p.m. Monday, March 22 with a webinar by Erin Genia, who is a member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Nation. She will discuss her work as a multidisciplinary artist, educator and community organizer specializing in Indigenous arts and culture. Genia’s artistic practice merges Dakota cultural imperatives, pure expression, and exploration of materiality with the conceptual.

You can join the March 22 webinar here.

The series concludes at 7 p.m. Monday, May 3 with a webinar by Malcolm Mobutu Smith, speaking on “Point of Entry.” Smith will provide a glimpse into influence, reference and identity in his journey as an artist/educator.

You can join the May 3 webinar here.

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Image: Amanda Hankerson, “History Is Not Here: Art and the Arab Imaginary,” Mizna and Minnesota Museum of American Art, 2019.

Artist Erin Genia, Image: Gary Zhexi Zhang and Zacharia Jama of InVisible, 2017, 60" x 60", pieced organza.

The hands of Malcolm Mobutu Smith at work. Image: Owyn Vernius Johnson Smith, Summer 2020.